AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Protesters gathered in Austin today in an effort to stop the execution of a death row inmate who says he’s innocent.
They protested outside the governor’s mansion, calling on Governor Greg Abbott to stop the execution of 51-year-old Rodney Reed, who is scheduled to be put to death November 20.
Reed was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of 19-year-old Stacey Stites in 1996.
Reed has long maintained it was Stites’ fiancé at the time, former police officer Jimmy Fennell, who actually killed her.
Fennell’s lawyer denies Reed’s allegations.
New forensic analysis has raised doubts about facts surrounding the case, such as the time and place where Stites was killed.
Reed’s efforts to stop his execution have received support from a number of celebrities, including Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Oprah Winfrey.
In addition, 16 Texas state senators, eight Republicans and eight Democrats, wrote a letter urging Abbott and the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to grant Reed a reprieve.
Members of the newly-formed, bi-partisan Texas House Criminal Justice Reform Caucus also wrote a letter to Abbott asking for a reprieve, with two Republican representatives who are not part of the caucus signing on.